Dear Ivanka, Let’s Talk About the AHCA.

Dear Ivanka,

Hi. My name is Kyla. I live in Texas. I am married to a great guy who works in IT and we have three kids, two of whom have medical needs well beyond the typical ear infections and viruses of childhood. They have major medical conditions that will follow them for life. I’m writing you because I’m told that you are a champion for women and families, and we need a champion right now. I’m also writing you because I’m told you have your father’s ear, and maybe you have the power to turn the tide for families like mine. I hope you do.

I need to talk to you about the proposed AHCA and per capita caps for Medicaid. I understand that you are probably frustrated with the ACA, as many are, and I can see that it is far from perfect. In fact, my husband and I are both uninsured because we fall into the gap between being eligible for Medicaid and affording a Marketplace plan (even with a subsidy) like roughly 29 million other Americans. I agree that IS a problem! However, the AHCA does nothing to rectify this situation, instead it compounds it. If my husband and I were to get seriously ill, we *might* be able to scrape together the money for coverage with the ACA, but with an additional 30% charge for an entire year as the AHCA proposes, it would be permanently out of reach. Can you imagine if the fire department told people, “You should have called us before your house was on fire. We are going to charge you a premium surcharge because you’ve called us for rescue now that you need it.”? If one of us gets seriously ill, we would have to seek care at a hospital and it would result in bills we cannot pay. The cost of uncompensated care is shared between property taxes and increased costs to insurers (which are passed on to their customers), and it costs taxpayers much more than preventative care and out of hospital treatment. This fact seems to be overlooked in most conversations about providing people with healthcare, because the truth is we are ALL already paying for it. At this point, we are just providing people with lower quality care for higher costs and causing bankruptcy for many of our citizens. It hurts our economy and it hurts families and individuals. We can do better. I hope you’ll help me to tell people that we can, and should, do better.

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